Coastal California self drive vacation

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Responsible Travel doesn't mean having to compromise on the enjoyment of your trip or the quality of your accommodation.

In Los Angeles we prefer to use LEED approved accommodation. (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design). LEED is USGBC’s rating system for designing, constructing and maintaining the world’s greenest, most energy efficient and high performing buildings and the Shore Hotel, designed by Gensler, is the first property in Santa Monica to receive this distinction.
To achieve LEED Gold certification, Shore Hotel has implemented a variety of energy and resource conserving initiatives. Highlights include:

• Fifty percent of all construction waste materials including metals, concrete, stucco, terrazzo, wood, and carpet were recycled.
• Ten percent of the building materials were local to the Southern California region and came from within the surrounding 500 miles.
• Shore Hotel was the first new build hotel to implement the Southern California Edison Auto Demand Response system which automatically conserves energy during a high-demand period.
• Shore Hotel’s carbon footprint is 43 percent less than that of the average hotel.

As a company we are firmly committed to the principles of ethical travel. Our comprehensive Responsible Practices policy summarises our commitments and actions.
Although the very basis of our ground operations lends itself to the ethos of responsible tourism, this policy re-iterates our commitment to:

• Use locally owned hotels
• Use locally owned ground agents
• Use local guides and drivers
• Promote community tourism projects from homestays to craft shops
• Support charities that work within the destinations that we travel to

Whilst we recognise that a vital element of any vacation is relaxation, we do try to encourage our clients to be aware of the impact they have on their destinations. We hope this will help to ensure the sustainability of our destinations and improve the quality of our clients' overall experience.

Ethical considerations are also part of our research and development process and we encourage feedback on our practices. Clients are asked to comment and make suggestions on our responsible practices when completing their post-trip questionnaire. In addition to this, as well as visiting destination-based initiatives whilst on their educational trips, our country specialists are encouraged to help continually improve our responsible travel initiatives.

We always prefer to use hotels which have environmental policies in place regarding reuse of towels and sheets, electricity and water usage.
Where available we recommend our clients stay in ethically responsible accommodation, such as eco-lodges that aim to preserve the beauty of natural surroundings.

Ethical practice is not just limited to the destinations we operate in. Responsible practice is exercised in our office with various measures put in place aimed at reducing, re-using and recycling resources where possible.

We carry out dedicated responsible travel training sessions with all employees upon joining the company.

We minimise our electricity consumption by switching off lights, computers, fans etc in rooms that are not in use and at night. We also monitor thermostats and keep doors and windows closed when heating is on.

We recycle all office paper, encourage double-side photocopying and, where appropriate, circulate documents by email. We also exercise effective control of brochure production, distribution and disposal.

We encourage car sharing amongst employees and are part of a cycle scheme.

Despite the fact that this a self drive vacation, there are ways in which you can minimise your impact on the environment while traveling and see what practices some of the places that you will travel to are committed to fulfilling.

Hotels and restaurants en route will be happy to refill your own water bottles. This one act will save you dollars and will mean that you aren't disposing plastic bottles in bins along the way.

San Francisco is a very walkable city and there are plenty of opportunities to use the iconic streetcars and cable cars to get around. We also suggest that you cycle over the Golden Gate bridge and use the ferries across the bay, it's a great way to see the city.

Monterey is world famous for it's whale watching and The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary is a US Federally protected marine area offshore of California's Big Sur and central coast. We use a small, locally operated company with a huge amount of experience but all operators in the area have very stringent guidelines that they have to adhere to in this sensitive environment.

Where possible on your trip willl use LEED certified hotels.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

We are committed to supporting a wide number of responsible and ethical initiatives, including environmental projects, community tourism projects and education programmes. We encourage our clients to visit many of these initiatives such as wildlife sanctuaries and co-operatives.

Through client-specific notes in our tailor-made itineraries, we continue to actively recommend restaurants, shops and other local businesses so that the community is directly benefited. Most of these have been discovered by our country specialists and include craft shops that ensure tourist money is fed back to the individuals who produce the crafts, and restaurants which train local street children.

We promote environmentally friendly tours and accommodation in a number of destinations.
We prefer, where possible, to use smaller, locally owned ground agents. Not only does this ensure that it is the host community who are managing and benefiting from the local tourist industry, but we also believe that our clients will have a better trip as local agents have a much more intimate knowledge of the region.
For the same reasons as above, we always use local guides and drivers. This not only provides crucial employment and income for the local community, but also increases the authenticity of the client’s trip.

We favour ground agents who have an awareness of responsible tourism policies and strong environmental commitment. Responsible practice is one of the principle criteria during the selection of new suppliers, and ethical initiatives form a fundamental element in our ground arrangements.
In addition to feedback from country specialist visits, all our ground agents are asked to keep us updated on their own responsible tourism practices as well as potential community tourism projects, local charities and eco-accommodation that we can recommend to our clients.

Clients are asked to report on the behaviour and awareness of our agents and local guides once they have returned home from their trip.
We always try to favour small locally owned hotels over large international chains. We work closely with our local ground agents to source more small guesthouses, B&Bs, boutique hotels and eco-friendly lodges. This ensures that as much revenue as possible remains in the host country as well as providing an experience with more genuine character for our clients.

Climate

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